Mr Godwin Akandu, President, Etche Farmers Association, on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to enhance participation of Indigenous Agro Dealers in the forthcoming launching of agro products distribution.
Akandu, who made the call in Port Harcourt, said that Rivers indigenous suppliers, who participated in the 2014 wet season agro products distribution, were still being owed by the Federal Government. According to him, non payment of indigenous fertiliser suppliers in the state would hinder their participation as the Federal Government announces plans to launch 2016 edition of the programme soon. He, however, commended the Federal Government for its decision to pay-off debts owed agro dealers and called for a review of the payment process to accommodate Rivers suppliers. Akandu said that 12 Agro products suppliers participated in the 2014 wet season distribution in Rivers, of which four were indigenes of the state. "We were 12 Agro Dealers, who participated in the 2014 wet season fertiliser distribution in the state, only four of the 12 were indigenes, we are not discriminating, we are all Nigerians. "My concern is that till date none of the indigenous suppliers have been paid, we don't understand the criteria adopted for the payment which has so far eluded us. "Recently, the Minister of Agriculture announced readiness to launch the 2016 wet season fertiliser distribution, which eventually may exclude indigenous suppliers who are financially incapacitated. "We are aware that the Minister of Agriculture earlier promised to engage only suppliers who have ready fund for distribution of the products,” he said.